THE OLD MASTERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT Christie’s Paris -16 June 2021

Written by Staff Writer


Christie’s Paris – 16 June 2021, 2pm

Paris – Christie’s is pleased to present its Old Masters sale, which will feature a selection of European paintings and sculptures – for a global estimate of 3.4M. – compiled with great variety to meet the taste of a wide range of collectors. Such prominent Flemish artists as The Master of the Female Half-Lengths, Joos de Momper or Roelandt Savery will be represented alongside quality artworks by French and Italian masters among which Alexandre-François Desportes, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Achille Etna Michallon or Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot.

The highlight of the sale is a work by Alexandre-François Desportes, one of the greatest still life and animal painters of the 18th century. The Nature morte au ara, bas-relief, instruments de musique et chocolatière (pictured above) is an exceptional testimony to his talent as a still life painter. This majestic, elegant composition has a rich, vibrant palette. Every detail reveals the observation and faithful rendering of nature, goldsmith’s wares and trompe l’oeil bronzes. The work comes from prestigious former collections, notably that of Ramel de Nogaret, Minister of Finance, Baron Lepic and the collection of Elisabeth Wildenstein. It is estimated at €600,000-1,000,000.

Another major lot in the sale is a luminous landscape, Vue imaginaire d’un port méditerranéen au soleil couchant, by the famous marine painter, Joseph Vernet, (pictured above)shortly before his return to France. Dated 1752, the work belongs to Vernet’s Italian period, often considered as his most creative. As Ingersoll-Smouse describes it: ‘The whole of the Italian period, from the series in the manner of S. Rosa to the genre paintings, constitutes, for its richness, variety of subject and beauty of execution, the finest part of Vernet’s life and art.” A lovely light illuminates the picturesque scene in the foreground while reinforcing the romantic depiction of the Mediterranean coastline with its overhanging rocks sheltering a grotto animated with figures. Estimated at €250,000-350,000, collectors should be seduced by this delicate marine that has remained in the same collection since 1950.

A rediscovery for the art market, the Department of Old Master Paintings is pleased to present one of the artist Joos de Momper’s masterpieces, Paysage d’hiver avec un moulin à vent. Together with Denis van Alsloot, Joos de Momper is considered one of the most important Flemish landscape painters of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Momper collaborated here with Jan Brueghel the Younger on the figures, which are rendered with the greatest care. The transparency of the glazes and the play of colours contribute to the perspective and the magical character of the composition.  It is estimated at €200,000-300,000.

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